(Last Updated On: )
Dorn Bay, Clear Lake, CA as viewed from Clear Lake State Park

Dorn Bay, Clear Lake, CA as viewed from Clear Lake State Park. Photo: Kglavin, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Beautiful Clear Lake State Park exists amongst the oak covered hills surrounding California’s largest freshwater lake just 60 miles north of Santa Rosa. This serene area has become a popular destination over the years, with visitors searching for opportunities to swim, boat, camp, fish, hike, and birdwatch.

This peaceful California state park also lies along the edge of Soda Bay, a unique natural spring of carbonated water. And is not far from the historic town of Kelseyville.


If you’re searching for an ideal summer vacation destination, look no further than Clear Lake State Park. Here you’ll discover a multitude of campsites, hiking trails, lakeside activities, nature programs, events, and so much more.

Spend a day or stay for a few nights. Stop in and check out the interpretive displays and large aquarium inside the Visitor Center. And remember to pack a lunch. You’ll enjoy relaxing in one of the park’s scenic picnic areas nestled under the shaded oak and cottonwood trees. Picnic tables, grills, drinking water, and restrooms are provided to help make your visit more comfortable.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Clear Lake State Park:

Boating at Clear Lake State Park

Expansive Clear Lake is ideal for kayaks, canoes, tubes, water skis, paddleboarding, sailing, fishing, jet skiing, and more. A boat launch and marina are located along Cole Creek and rentals are available nearby. Registered campers may also access the boat slips located at the marina.

Swimming at Clear Lake State Park

There is a nice lakeside beach and swimming area inside Clear Lake State Park for guests to enjoy during their visit.

Open from sunrise to sunset, this popular beach area has picnic tables, shade Ramadas, and nearby restrooms with showers, but no lifeguards.

Hiking at Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake State Park features miles of nature trails and fire roads that spread throughout the wooded hills surrounding the park. These trails climb as high as 1,600 feet offering guests spectacular views of the park.

Here are a couple of the trails at Clear Lake State Park:

  • Dorn Nature Trail – A moderate 1.8 mile trail through the oaks with beautiful views of native plants and wildflowers.
  • Indian Nature Trail – This moderate 0.4 mile self-guided trail showcases the area’s flora and fauna.
  • Kelsey Creek Trail – Easy 1.7 mile trail that winds along the river, across boardwalk, and out to a beach area. Great trail for viewing wildlife, especially turtles and ducks.

Fishing at Clear Lake State Park

If you love to fish, then you are going to enjoy your visit to Clear Lake. This large lake is considered to be number one in the country for bass fishing. Be sure to bring your angling gear and pick up a California fishing license for a chance to catch a couple of these popular fish as well as catfish, crappie, blackfish, bluegill, and Sacramento Perch.

Birding at Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake State Park’s lake, creeks, and streams attract a variety of waterfowl. This area is a popular one for nesting Wood Ducks and mallards. You may also see herons, egrets, osprey, woodpeckers, White Pelicans, Great Horned Owls, Northern Flickers, Red Shouldered Hawks, and Blue Jays here.

Nature and Wildlife at Clear Lake State Park

Clear Lake is the largest natural lake in California, fed from the Sacramento River. This beautiful lake is surrounded by wildlife, especially during the spring. Woodlands, brightly colored wildflowers, and green bushes and shrubs lie along the lake offering protective habitats for a variety of species. During your visit to this peaceful area you will probably see many birds, squirrels, deer, and turtles.


Pets are only allowed on the paved roads, in the parking areas, and in the campground areas at Clear Lake State Park.

Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet and are not permitted on trails or in the day-use areas.


For guests interested in spending a few nights in the area, Clear Lake State Park features 147 campsites, 2 primitive hike-in sites, group camping areas, and rustic cabins spread throughout four developed campgrounds.

Each campground area offers something special: Cole Creek Campground has shaded campsites and stunning views of the creek; Kelsey Creek Campground lies along the lake; Lower Bayview Campground’s sites are located above beautiful Clear Lake and Dorn Cove and near the beach; and Upper Bayview Campground lies along the top of the hill and near the Dorn Nature Trail.

The 8 camping cabins are located near the lake. These rustic cabins have a full sized bunk bed, table and chairs, and electricity. There is no bathroom, kitchen, or running water. Guests need to bring their own linens, including mattress pads for the bunk beds.

All campsites and cabins have a picnic table, food storage locker, and a fire ring. Most sites are located within walking distance to restrooms and showers.

Park Location

Clear Lake State Park
5300 Soda Bay Rd
Kelseyville, CA 95451
Phone: 707.279.2267

Park Website



Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Clear Lake State Park: